Thursday, January 22, 2004

WSJ.com - Playful on Outside, Paul Allen Tightens Grip on His Fortune

WSJ.com - Playful on Outside, Paul Allen Tightens Grip on His Fortune: "When Paul Allen attracts public attention, it's usually for activities that involve a mere sliver of his wealth. He owns big-league sports teams and a music museum. He bankrolls brain research and collects World War II aircraft. Some think of him as a low-key engineer who grew so rich from co-founding Microsoft Corp. that he can indulge his hobbies on a grand scale.
Away from the spotlight, however, the 51-year-old Mr. Allen has embarked on a massive restructuring of the $20 billion portfolio that makes him one of the world's richest people. When the technology bubble burst in early 2000, much of his fortune was tied up in high-tech and media companies, including Charter Communications Inc., a St. Louis cable-television operator. Those investments skidded as much as 90% in value. Many small stakes in Internet companies needed to be written off entirely.
As bad news mounted, Mr. Allen sent dozens of employees packing, including former investment chief William Savoy, who was long regarded as the Seattle billionaire's most trusted lieutenant. Now, Mr. Allen has retooled the mission of Vulcan Inc., his main investment vehicle, so that it is less exposed to the zigzags of the technology sector. He has handed over a lot of day-to-day authority at Vulcan to his 45-year-old sister, Jody Patton, who previously worked as a film producer and a development officer at the Pacific Northwest Ballet."

Useful update on the other Microsoft co-founder (the one with "only" 35%" at the start)
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